Young drummers from Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School (left to right) Kaelani Greyeyes

Young drummers from Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School (left to right) Kaelani Greyeyes

First fish fry from Penticton hatchery released

Life journeys began on two fronts this week along the shores of the dark, swift-moving waters of the Okanagan River Channel.

Life journeys began on two fronts this week along the shores of the dark, swift-moving waters of the Okanagan River Channel.

Over 200 young students from valley indigenous cultural schools released thousands of sockeye salmon fry, many of which they had raised themselves from eggs, into the waterway on the first leg of their migration to the Pacific Ocean.

“The children here are an important part of the ceremony because this is their future, this is what they’re going to inherit from us so this is a big part of their journey too,” said executive director Pauline Terbasket of the Okanagan Alliance (ONA). “They (children) are going to witness how important it is to have a relationship with the land and the resources and that’s exciting for me.

“This is a community ceremony. “It’s a place we can come together as people to just pause in our busy lives and say, ‘this is important.’”

Held in conjunction with the ongoing work of ONA fisheries department to return the salmon to their traditional numbers and habitat, the day has become an annual celebration of the fish species that was so heavily relied upon in the past by aboriginal peoples. The release of the salmon was extra special for members of the Penticton Indian Band because throughout the week they released the first fry from the state-of-the-art Kł cpə̓ lk stim̓ Hatchery which opened on the reserve last fall.

“This is very significant for us and we’ve broken a record for the number of fry we released this year, 1.6 million,” said PIB Chief Jonathan Kruger, who was at the site May 20 for the special event. “The most we ever released was 1.2 million and our goal is to do five million a year. We’re still working on it but I’m confident our numbers are going to get bigger down the road.

“Last year we had 410,000 salmon come back and our goal one day is to bring over a million back to Okanagan Lake, and see them in Mission creek and all those tributaries throughout the Okanagan.”

The dam at the south end of Okanagan Lake currently prevents that, however, changes are being looked.

According to Terbasket, the critical aspect of putting the children at the forefront of the work to bring the sockeye back is giving them the understanding of what will be they will have to do in the years ahead.

“After all, they will one day be the caretakers and the stewards of this land,” she said.



Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read